Readers' letters: Empty phrases on Scottish economy

I finally got round to reading the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, as set out by Kate Forbes and her team of radical thinkers.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 6th May 2022, 7:00 am

Now, perhaps I find it difficult to credit the SNP with any innovative or original thinking, but I did find it hard to spot anything original or innovative in this. Here are a couple of key phrases that I thought illustrate the lack of thought.

Kate has “identified five key transformational programmes of action that can drive improve-ments in Scotland's economy: stimulating entrepreneurship; opening new markets; increasing productivity; developing the skills we need for the decade ahead; and ensuring fairer and more equal economic opportunities”.

Wow, I hope that none of our competitors have stumbled across this secret to success and equally, our aspiring businesses have sussed the secret too.

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This insipid strategy has been written a hundred times before by governments and organisations tasked with a need to desperately fill a strategy hole, but the SNP state that this “should act as a compass to guide the action of all partners”. Really? I suspect it will simply sit on the shelf.

With a final ironic flourish, the strategy states that “Words and intentions matter, but only actions deliver change”. Now, if only we had a government with a track record in this.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh.

Time to nationalise the wind industry

Wind farms in the North Sea all agreed to sell power to the grid at low fixed prices under the government's "Contracts for Difference" (CfD) scheme.

However, newly-completed wind farms are delaying taking up their CfDs because they can earn much higher prices on the open market.

Moray East, a huge wind farm off the Scottish coast, recently reached full operational capacity, but announced that it was delaying taking up its CfD contract until 2023.

Electricity consumers will potentially have to pay this one wind farm an extra £500 million in its first 12 months of operations.

CfD contracts allow a great deal of flexibility on start dates, with delays of up to three years possible, so £500 million could turn out to be £1.5 billion. Remember, this is just for one wind farm.

I never thought I would say this, but surely it is time to nationalise the wind industry which is mostly owned by foreign investors.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Steph should turn off from eating meat

In a recent interview, when asked "what makes you switch off?" TV presenter Steph McGovern replies, "I can't watch any drama which has any form of child harm. Not even a trailer. I'll just start crying.

"Also, anything to do with dementia. I just think, 'oh my God, could that be me or someone I love?".

One programme I never watch is Steph McGovern's 'Packed Lunch'.

She is almost always, along with guests, stuffing her face with a variety of bits and pieces of animal flesh, obviously not giving a thought to the cruelty that has gone into the making of her food choices.

She would do well to watch some film footage of animals in slaughterhouses. If watching people acting scenes of cruelty make her cry, the real cruelty that has gone into the making of her 'packed lunch' should not be treated as a laughing matter.

Steph worries about getting dementia. She may well do. If she is so concerned about it, she could opt for the diet of the four healthiest communities in the world, all of whom consume a plant-based diet.

Sandra Busell, Edinburgh.

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